Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Don't Wake Me Up, You're Creepy

Published:  August 7th, 2012
Wake (Watersong # 1)
By: Amanda Hocking
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-13:  9781250008121

Gorgeous. Fearless. Dangerous. They're the kind of girls you envy; the kind of girls you want to hate. Strangers in town for the summer, Penn, Lexi and Thea have caught everyone's attention—but it’s Gemma who’s attracted theirs.  She’s the one they’ve chosen to be part of their group.

Gemma seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now there’s no going back.  Then one night, Gemma’s ordinary life changes forever.  She’s taking a late night swim under the stars when she finds Penn, Lexi and Thea partying on the cove.  They invite her to join them, and the next morning she wakes up on the beach feeling groggy and sick, knowing something is different.

Suddenly Gemma is stronger, faster, and more beautiful than ever. But her new powers come with a terrifying price.  And as she uncovers the truth, she’s is forced to choose between staying with those she loves—or entering a new world brimming with dark hungers and unimaginable secrets.


     So, the above summary is from Goodreads and seems like a more than adequate enough background for someone reading this review to know what the book is about (or trying to be about anyways...).  So I'm just going to bypass my normal blurb and just jump right into the actual review portion of this post.  As a young adult author who started out self-published and was picked up by a major publishing house, Amanda Hocking is totally living the dream.  And I  really admire her for her tenacity and raw talent.  But that's what it is -RAW TALENT.  This book is a lot more polished than her Trylle trilogy (the first book of which left me gagging and cross-eyed) and you can tell an editor actually made changes to it.  But not enough to tell Amanda that she needs to amp up the action and show, not tell!  I couldn't make out whether Gemma was the main character or if it was supposed to be Harper.  Plus, Gemma spent a good majority of the book swimming and going on about an Olympic future and just tossed it aside with hardly a fight when she began to transform.  Her relationship with Alex was sickly sweet and showcases her vulnerability in a way that makes her seem sixteen going on seven.  It made me want to throw the book against the wall.  I never really got a sense of the backstory for Penn, Lexi and Thea.  Yes we're told that they originated from Greek Mythology, but the girls' more recent pasts are very sketchy.  And the book's trajectory felt very iffy, especially when it tried to go from zero to 80 in two seconds flat and ended up doing a weak, school-zone thirty.  There just wasn't enough world-building and I got the same feeling her other books gave me - she's trying to write herself into a book.  With this one it wasn't as obvious until the really bad romance started because of the swimming focus, but it becomes blatantly obvious.  Ms. Hocking there is a reason that most real people do not make good book characters, in a word: BORING.  Overall a very weak book that left me feeling like I'd wasted my time.  Good for fans of Twilight though.  And she did improve as a writer, which was worth noting.

VERDICT:  2/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*

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